Director[11] = #@§!

Douglas Edric Stanley


Ok, so now I’m really pissed. So I’ve bought the damn upgrade, simply because I have so many old projects languishing on this dying platform. I’ve also been getting email from people because some of these projects are online, and no longer work; and instead of saying, “Macromedia, er Adobe, couldn’t move its sorry ass for over two years to get this software working on your platform,” the alert instead says, “please contact the author,” which in its tone suggests that somehow I’m the one who can’t manage my own projects. Okay, okay, so that’s the way software works, fine. So I get the upgrade, figuring I’ll finally fix these problems.

Five minutes later, this brand-spanking new software has crashed. Hmmm. That sucks. Okay, try again. The damn thing crashes again. Hmmm. Well, apparently, it has something to do with font support; okay, avoid that, try again. “Your application has unexpectedly quit,” and so on for days. Try simple stuff, complicated stuff = crash. Cannot open any significant project from pre-Director 11. I give up. Report bugs. Move on to something else.

So I gave it a few weeks, figuring Adobe would solve the problems that are always hanging around as software goes out the door. I even try copying individual media and scripts by hand, avoiding their “updater” which has now just crashed for the gazillionth time. No luck. Or the thing appears to work for a few seconds, then crashes at some random moment. Try another machine, try a clean install, rinse, lather, repeat…

Finally, I go back to their website. Try the forums, no help there. Try another bug report, probably won’t answer just like a few weeks ago. Try technical support…what!? I have to f@#&§! pay forty dollars just to get help making a supported feature actually work!?

The notion that professional software is somehow more efficient, or (gasp) simply professional, is in the end just a hoax. The illusion that actually having paid for the software will somehow give you some service when it breaks? Yeah, right. To compare real-world experiences: last week I had a bug in OpenFrameworks; I just opened up the code, fixed it, and moved on. I lost maybe a few minutes. Where do I turn when I have a bug in Director? Their website is like a fortress. Oh, sorry, I meant so say a crypt…

Original Comments:

2008-06-02 22:52:09


Director stays the quickest tool for a few things. Maybe meaningless things now, I don’t know. But the product is getting old, for sure. What I like the most with it is how much you can start to work without any help - and what I don’t like is that it doesn’t help you very much to learn other systems, other languages,… In a way I can’t really tell that I’m happy to lose it.

2008-06-02 16:58:12


Why do they do that ? Do they try to give us a nervous breakdown and let us die of it before they eventualy terminate the toy itself ? I was glad to see D11 coming but I didn’t bought the update yet because I think it is simply too expensive for the euro-zone customers (and they won’t let me cheat about that) and I heard quite a lot of bad news about it. The only good thing I’ve heard is that Director 12 will be a real and maybe good release.

2008-06-02 21:07:37

Douglas Edric Stanley

Yeah, it’s quite odd.

You should watch the video from the MAX conference. The speaker basically suggests that they’re just getting the project up to speed, and that you’ll have to wait until Director 12 or 13 for the real deal, which will probably be all about DDD. Director 11 really only brought us Vista and MacIntel support, which what I needed it for in the end. The rest I couldn’t care about, because honestly I’ve moved on and am re-writing everything in either Processing or C++, and I’m so much happier for it.

By the time Director 13 comes around, the traditional Mac + Windows platforms will be meaningless. It’s all about multi-touch right now, and while Director could have had a say in that world (thanks to rapid prototyping), it won’t. Ever. It’ll simply get there three to four years too late.

Some game engine will have probably taken over by then, and by the looks of it, an open-source one. Perhaps OGRE? I don’t know, I’m not an oracle. Director’s real future should have been gaming, only game developers need real game engines, just as badly as then need game engine standardization (so as to avoid redesigning the widget every 6 months). Director used to be a standard for multimedia. But it lost this position, and I don’t see how it could ever get it back.

Although we’ve replaced Director with OpenFrameworks, I don’t see OF taking the place of Director. Again, I suppose some open-source game engine will take that top spot.

2008-06-14 14:17:57